So we finally were able to get around to visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios new Galaxy ‘s Edge land, a few months ago. Since it’s opening there has been a lot of of controversy over it. Some guests love the land. Some say it’s to much. There is speculation that it did not draw in the crowds that Disney World was hoping for.
I am not a diehard Star Wars fan, but I have watched most of the series. From my perspective, Disney World imagineers did an excellent job recreating the land to represent what was depicted from the movies.
If you enter Galaxy Edge through the tunnel from Grand Avenue, you will notice an instant transformation into the galaxy. However, when entering from Toy Story Land, you will feel a sense of being taken into a different world. The Imagineers did an excellent job transitioning between the lands, especially when entering from Toy Story Land. You will be drawn away from one world and into Galaxy’s Edge.
It has been said by many fans that they have submerged you so well into the land that you can forget you are at Disney.
Disney World has been improving their immersive experiences for their various lands around the parks. I do have to agree with the statement above and say that the Imagineers did an excellent job in immersing the guests into the Galaxy. Everything from the design of the structures, the attractions, displays, and cast members draw you into the Galaxy and you can forget that you are Hollywood Studios.
My first observation in the immersive experience are the cast members. They were all dressed to fit the roll. Even the managers that walk around the parks where dressed in Star Wars themed clothing. The cast members would speak to you in the native galaxy language and are more interactive in character than you sometimes notice in other parts of the parks.
The one hot button issue with Galaxy’s Edge are the crowd levels. Experts have said that the land did not bring in the crowds they are had anticipated. While there were large crowds from the opening of Star Wars, with 100s of visitors lining up the night prior to opening. It appears that they crowds have not maintained the high level Disney World was expecting.
When we visited the land last month the overall crowd levels were relatively low throughout most of the parks. We never saw unusually long wait times for rides and I would say that Star Wars wasn’t any different. While this part of the park had the most crowds, I would still say the crowds weren’t unbearable. I was able to easily walk around the galaxy with a stroller and not worry about running into other guests.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run wait time during our visit to the galaxy hovered around a 60 minute wait time. This isn’t a long wait time when you compare it to Slinky Dog and Frozen. Both of these attractions have been open for well over a year and almost always have a wait time greater than 60 minutes.
With Rise of the Resistance opening last Thursday, the crowd levels have definitely increased. The real question is whether or not the crowd levels will continue after the initial hype wears off. Boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance have been sold out before noon, everyday since opening.
What’s in the Land
Currently, there is 2 attraction, 5 dining options, and 2 interactive building stations and several stores. There are a couple store attractions which allow visitors to buy and build either a light saber or a droid. Outside of the two attractions, everything else costs money in Galaxy’s Edge. Leaving your average Disney goer wondering what is there for me to do here.
Rise of the Resistance
The newest attraction in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This has been the attraction everybody has been waiting for. The one that has been said to turn Disney World around. The first week for this attraction has overall been a success. While it has had its hiccups initially, the crowds continue to show up in droves for this attraction.
Is it a ride, show, or what. Rise of the Resistance, combines multiple elements to create this attraction, which lasts almost 15 minutes. You will first start in a virtual 3-D ride, then you thrown into an interactive walk-through area and finally you board a craft for the third part of your adventure trying to escape the First World Order.
There are a lot of moving parts with this attraction, if any one part goes down it will easily mess up the entire attraction for everyone else. This will ultimately affect a large number of guests, as this attraction can easily handle a large crowd at once.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Choose your crew and step into the cockpit of a Millennium Falcon for a daring flight. The success of the mission is up to you and your crew. You will be racing through the galaxy fighting your way through, so make sure you have a top notch crew to be successful.
Build a droid.
Probably the most expensive attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, you have the ability to build a custom droid. You walk into the warehouse and select custom parts to the droid. Once you have all the pieces you will assemble th droid at a workstation. Once it’s assembled you can purchase various accessories for your droid. One of these accessories is a computer chip which will give the droid a personality. It will be able to move around on its own and even interact with other droids. The cost to build a droid can run you around $99.
Head over to Black Spire Outpost and get ushered into Savi’s Workshop to build your own Lightsaber. Choose 1 of 4 themes for your saber. Collect the components and walkout with a fully assembled lightsaber battle ready. This experience is expensive and will run you $199 for one fully constructed lightsaber.
Oga’s Cantina- This lounge is where all the locals hangout to refuel, conduct meetings and enjoy local music. Oga’s Cantina specializes in creating drinks with ingredients from all over the galaxy. The only downside to visiting the Cantina is the limited food option. They only have 1 snack option, the Bantu Bits.
It is recommended that you make reservations at Oga’s Cantina if you are looking to dine there.
Docking Bay 7– Is the place to go for food in Galaxy’s Edge. This is a Quick Service restaurant, with Mobile Ordering.
Milk Stand– Looking to taste the popular drink of the locals. Grab a blue or green milk.
Ronto Roasters– Another quick service option with delicious grilled meat from around the galaxy.
Kat Saka’s Kettle– Enjoy sweet and savory popcorn. $6.49.